On August 21, a solar eclipse (when the Moon passes in between the Earth and the Sun) will be visible throughout the United States. King County will experience a partial solar eclipse, beginning at around 9:10 a.m. and peaking at 10:20 a.m., with approximately 90 percent of the Sun covered by the Moon. While this astronomical phenomenon will be a sight to see, viewers must use proper eye protection as looking directly at the Sun may cause severe eye damage.
The National Weather Service notes that the only safe way to observe a partial solar eclipse is through special solar filtered glasses, a telescope with a solar filter, or through Welder’s Glass #14 or darker. Homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses are not safe for looking at the Sun. The American Astronomical Society offers a list of reputable vendors to purchase solar filters and viewers.
Solar Eclipse Fun Facts:
- This is the first total solar eclipse the United States has experienced since 1991 and the first to move across the entire U.S. mainland since 1918.
- The next total solar eclipse over the United States will be on April 8, 2024.
- The total solar eclipse will last a maximum of 2 minutes and 43 seconds. About 70 percent of eclipses last longer than this.
For more on the solar eclipse, visit NASA’s Total Eclipse 2017 website.